By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello-Koko on Friday met with executives of the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) even as they both brainstormed on how to revitalise barging activities at Nigerian Ports.
Speaking exclusively with DAILY TREND at the end of the meeting, an executive of BOAN, Chief Daniel Eze described the meeting as the most fruitful session the association has ever had with the NPA.
According to him, some of the major issues on the front burners included the reduction in tariff levied on barge operations by the NPA, and the need to improve on the standard of barges being used at the ports by barge operators.
“On their own part they asked us to look at the safety and the types of barges being used, and the MD also asked us to explore the Lekki Deep Seaport.
We believe that we can tap into that opportunity by ensuring that we get ocean going barges because right now, the Lekki Deep Seaport are looking for ocean going barges.
“We looked at the other areas
to encourage and support barge operations in Nigeria, which they promised that they will look at the licencing, the process and the procedures.
“Equally, we are looking at having a joint task force, comprising the different enforcement
agencies, including the NPA and our own safety and enforcement unit for barge operations, this committee would enable us to clampdown on illegal barge operators that bring in barges that are not standard, as well as some of the people who are operating outside the rules of engagement, coupled with non-members that take undue advantage of the sector.
“This is the one of the most fruitful meetings we have ever had with the NPA, and we really appreciate the NPA management, the MD himself was present, i give him kudos for creating time to be with us. We have a direction now, we know what they want they know what we want so the marriage is now cemented, everybody knows the rule of engagement and what is expected from each other” he said